August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo's campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

"This shows that we mean business," said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. "There's no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us."

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would "cause a worldwide economic collapse." recorded his comments.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," Tancredo said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack."

Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN's Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." Tancredo was widely criticized in 2005 for making a similar suggestion.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Mohammad, East Lansing, MI

    As a proud American and a proud Muslim, I am speechless. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely opposed to extremist Muslims who resort to violent acts of cowardice, and I think we should do whatever we can to stop them (and yes, I do my part in publicly confronting this extremism). But why, oh why, would we threaten to attack the very cities that are holiest to someone like me? I'm not a fan of Saudi Arabia, but those two cities in particular mean a lot to me. There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world. To punish all of them, including loyal American moderate Muslims does not seem to be congruous with the very American values that I have always been proud of. I recognize my bias here, but judging by other responses, I don't see how it is apologetic or politically correct to declare Tancredo's statements misguided. Bombing Mecca and Medina will only radicalize the silent moderate majority! Isn't this obvious? It will certainly not make them sympathetic to our cause. To borrow Tancredo's words, "If I am wrong, fine, tell me."

    August 3, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. bob, memphis, tennessee

    so, lets see. israel has had nuclear weapons for some time now- no one seems to care about that though.
    let the extremists fundamental religious idiots (judeaochristian/muslim) take each other out and maybe we can move onto some real issues in the world.

    August 3, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. drewas, Indianapolis

    Muslims have declared war on the West and have vowed our destruction. How much more can they hate us? If they bomb one of our "holy" cities we should react in kind. That is what this enemy understands. Tancredo spoke what many of us have been thinking for some time.

    August 3, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Davis, Carifornia

    This type of irresponsible and unreasonable comments will only add fuel to the very dangerous situation that we are in with respect to terrorism. This guy with such crazy ideas should not be among the policy makers.

    August 3, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Ron Mexico

    Some of you just don't get it. You think you can apply a diplomatic solution to this problem with the Islamic fundamentalists. Do you not understand that they will not stop until every last one of them is erradicated from the face of the earth. Their goal is to convert all non muslims or kill them. That's it. You can't reason with these people. Yet the same tired elitist comments from the residents of NYC, SF – wake up people. If they get the ability to set off a nuke in either of those places they will not hesitate to do so.

    August 3, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. Aaron, Vegas, NV

    Muslims only understand violence.

    They don't care for human lives (theirs or others )

    Funnily they care for that stupid box in Mecca.

    So you threaten that stupid box.
    Juvenile, but it works.

    You can never have total peace with Muslims – just an uneasy truce

    August 3, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Dan, Houston, TX

    Folks, attempts at chemical, biological, or radiological attacks in one or more US cities are imminent.

    A nuclear attack during the next Presidency is very likely.

    The threat of retaliation will certainty increase cooperation among international parties in the Middle East on intelligence gathering to avert these attacks.

    What's your solution ... denial?

    August 3, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Zach H. Lakewood, CO

    Wow... as a Coloradoan I just don't know what to say, I didn't vote for this clown and boy am I glad. It isn't so much his ridiculous, insensitive and stupid idea, as much as this will be presented overseas and Muslims around the world will take this as a representation of our country. So terribly sad.

    August 3, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Will A, Seattle, WA

    Depends on which holy sites.

    The ones in Saudi Arabia – sure. Saudi Arabia continues to provide more than 90 percent of all al-Qaeda funding and volunteers worldwide, and exports radical extremist Wahhabi teachings to the UK and US.

    But I can't see other countries.

    August 3, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. Seattle

    Tancredo just came up with the right response to the religious maniacs. Now let's advertise this response loud and clear so that if it comes to that no one can say "we were not warned."

    August 3, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Middle Eastern, Jordan

    Things I have learnt from reading the article:

    -Tancredo is insane
    -Anyone in the US with enough campaign money can be a congressman
    -1.5B Muslims in the world hate Tancredo
    -Tancredo is in a way the Muslims Hitler

    Tancredo, If I may suggest one thing, proceed with your plans in the Hajj season to get as much Muslims as possible

    August 3, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Gary, San Jose Ca

    Putting this stuff on the table is a good idea, these debates are all about having a discussion about issues of the day. Too bad most are strung by political correctness.

    All you folks who think it's politically incorrect to speak of such things, we'll see you you feel when a nuculear bomb takes out of or our cities, it's not a matter of if, but when. Not only will millions of us die, the world economy will go into a tailspin the likes of which we have never seen.

    August 3, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. someone, knox, tn

    That is so wrong to say! He is so rude and ignorant for saying something like that. Mecca is the home of God for us Muslims. For one, you cannot punish all Muslims for something that a group of dummies did. For many Muslims, going to Mecca is a big hope and dream to them. If you destroy it, you are disrespecting and making all Muslims around the world upset and even more angry. Two, Making this kind of threat toward the Muslims is very racist and wrong. It doesn't show business dummy, it shows hate and racism toward muslims.

    August 3, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Sophia, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

    Is he crazy?!!! Two wrongs don't make a right. Get this guy out of there!!

    August 3, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Ramzi , Tucson,AZ

    Congressman you are insane..

    August 3, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Michael S. Rochester, NY

    Bravo! Finnaly someone with a plan. I'd vote for this guy in an instant.

    August 3, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Abbas Khan, Vevey, Switzerland

    This guy is absolutely insane. First and foremost, if the US were to be attacked by terrorists again (god forbid), he is only adding fuel to the fire if he were to bomb a muslim holy site. So far the "war on terror" is associated with extremists and is more about politics and oil, than it is about religions, but hey, im hoping everyone already knows that. Any bombing of any muslim religious site, would result in all the middle eastern nations coming together (for the first time in their history), to take part in what would be world war 3.
    However, i am assured that this nutjob will never make it to any post, and their will always be good people around to stop idiots like him from doing stuff. Personally, charges should be filed agaisnt him and he should be removed from any political party he is representing for having non secular motives, while living in one of the most multi – cultural, secular countries. In short he has publicly shown his little knowledge of the whole issue with terrorism.

    August 3, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Jeremy, San Dimas, CA

    Yet another reason to vote for Mr. Tancredo (the only congressman with the guts to stand up to Bush on the immigration issue). I believe his statement here is very similar to the "mutually assured destruction" policy during the cold war. You may not like how it sounds, but it worked then and it just may work now.

    August 3, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. Kyle, L.A., CA

    Wow. Who votes for these lunatics? I'd like to ask him what we should do once we bomb Mecca. If we did, fanatics would make it their life long mission to destroy us. What should we use as a deterrent then?

    August 3, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Unknown

    First of all he is a moron.

    1)saudi is an ally country to the U.S and he wants to bomb it along with the Muslim Holy sites which are supported World wide.

    2) If he realy does get elected and bomb the place then this will be the start of WW3 between the muslims and the U.S.

    3) U.s citizens then come and ask why do you hate us ? Why dont you like us ?Well this is a reason why, its because of morons like him.

    4) its sad enough that the U.S elected a moron for a president and now you have someone more dumber and more idiotic with no sense of logic.

    5) If the Muslim holy sites are realy bombed then the U.S should prepare itself for War along with Terrorism acts being done within the U.S more than ever expected along with the riots.

    August 3, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. Irvine, CA 92603

    I think at this point this is probably the only thing that would get the attention of Iman Alzawari And Ali Khamenei that any further talk of jihad and talking about attacking United States Interests around the world. We have an ancient constitution in the United States that truley preserves thw pursue of life in its most perfect way.
    Respectfuly & Sincerely,
    Mohammad Don Safaei

    August 3, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Gina, Chicago IL

    I equate Tancredo's brain to that of a terrorist. How did this idiot even get elected? He's not only a racist but a lunatic.

    August 3, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Konden Smith, Glendale, AZ

    A classic "us" v. "them." Tancredo assumes all muslims are extremists and that all muslims want to kill "us" and that all of "them" own mecca and medina. After "we" bomb their sacred sites, they would then humble themselves and all of the sudden realize that we are right and they are wrong and thus the whole "clash of civilizations," that people like tancredo seem to love to create and continue, will end. Then we would all live happily and safe. He's a fool, but a dangerous fool.

    August 3, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. McEmtol Fat, Lagos Nigeria

    Please can somebody tell me the meaning of freedom of speech as defined in the america constitution 'cos i dont see why such an enormous inciteful statement must not go unpunished.
    What an idiot...the america government will have to call this guy to order to clear the mess he caused. the fact that he is a presidential hopeful leaves much to be deired. how did this kind of person gets to congress...
    this is really a sad story...a pathetic one for that matter....

    August 3, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. harry Potter glendale AZ

    Um I read a lot of "what is he thinking" and a lot of "He is insane" "bad person" but I do not see any "what we should do's"? instead all the bashing and not a single idea of what should be done if we fall under attack. maybe wait for our ally/enemy government, to say it had no control over what its people did? so i pose the ? to you out there what should the US do as a Deterrent to terrorist attacks? what example should be made? a friend of mine (ex marine RECON) always said GO after the terrorists family's, I guess that’s bad to right? but remember it might be your family member that may be hurt in a terrorist attack SO what say you then? of course you will say AN eye for an Eye when it directly effects you!! or maybe talking might solve things? so what say you???? ideas not criticism would help here, BUT are we just ones to TALK and second Guess leaders after all they lead and all you do is follow

    August 3, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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